Yesterday I bought the car, and today I got it registered. It was a pain. At first I thought that Korean DMV’s were faster, but their “computer was down” so I had to wait an hour before it came up again.
After driving the Kia for about a day, I have some very important observations. The first thing I noticed was the sticky throttle. Now, usually you would say a sticky throttle is a bad thing, but I disagree. See the sticky throttle allows me to apply as much power as possible all at once in a very jerky fashion, which helps me blend in with the natives. This is a crucial element of “Surviving Driving in Korea 101.” My S2000’s throttle pedal is too smooth however, and as a result is just too slow. Point to the Kia.
After adapting to the sticky throttle, I noticed that every time I would accelerate the rear end would sink. I’m pretty sure this means that I have the sport suspension package, an optional extra that was only placed on one car in 2003- mine. This excited me so much that I started to uncontrollably giggle as I navigated pre-rush hour traffic.
If I could describe traffic in Korea with one word, it would be “calm.” Oh wait a minute… I meant the opposite of that. Dodging stopped cars in random lanes and navigating around suicidal busses allowed me to test the suspension prowess that this mighty Kia Optima exudes. You can tell by the amount of body roll. It definitely beats my s2000 in the body roll category. As in, it has a lot more of it. Body roll allows me to “swing” around stopped busses and taxis. Thank you, Kia! I have never felt safer!
My transmission is also outfitted with the optional “hold your RPM while accelerating” option. This is a common option that allows your torque converter to hold a RPM for maximum power while you’re accelerating. The torque converter does this by “locking” the RPM – so good news, there’s no slippage here!
This leads me to the braking ability. Man, I’ll tell you what. This thing can stop so slowly that it would win in a race against my S2000 in stopping the slowest. Don’t ask me how, it just will. Science.
Here are some photos for your viewing pleasure. Feast your eyes on these gems.